A poker-playing fugitive was dealt a pair of handcuffs during a tournament at a bar in Valencia last week.
Robert Knight, aged 53, from Walsall, was tracked down as part of a joint operation involving the Spanish National Police, the National Crime Agency and West Midlands Police
Armed officers swooped as Knight was playing Texas Hold’em poker at Saffy’s sports bar in the port area of Calpe at 7pm Spanish time.
Knight, who is wanted connection with a conspiracy to import cocaine, was apprehended on a European Arrest Warrant. He is the 62nd fugitive to be caught out of 76 publicised through Operation Captura.
Hank Cole, Head of International Operations for the NCA, said: "Knight is believed to be a member of an organised crime group involved in the importation and distribution of illegal drugs.
"He had been on the run for a number of years but we were able to track him down. Spain is not a safe haven. The NCA and its partners will continue to pursue fugitives relentlessly."
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, Founder and Chairman of Crimestoppers, said: “Robert Knight has been at large for six years and I am delighted that the collaborative work of the agencies involved in Operation Captura has once again brought success.
“This latest capture brings the arrest rate to 82 per cent, and with just 14 individuals still to be located, I am appealing to the public to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or 900 555 111 from Spain, with the information that will lead to them being caught. It will happen – it’s just a matter of time.”
West Midlands Police had been seeking Knight following the seizure of six kilos of cocaine at Heathrow Airport in April 2008. Five other men were arrested at the time and later jailed for their roles in the crime.
Inspector Dave Simpson, from WMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “I am delighted that Knight has been caught, it has been a long time coming.
“This just demonstrates that there is no hiding place for criminals and we will work with police forces from other countries along with the National Crime Agency to seek them out.”
Knight will be appearing at the Spanish National Court in Madrid on Sunday where extradition proceedings will begin.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45083/
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